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The Vatican also has an extensive collection of ancient artifacts.  It shouldn’t be surprising that many of these are of Roman origin (the museum being in Rome), but there is also a large Egyptian collection.

Egyptian Relief Fragment

Hieroglyphic Tablet

Relief with Hieroglyphics

Sarcophagus of Djet-Mut, Thebes, 21st Dynasty

Scarab of Amenofis III, Thebes, 1379-80 B.C.
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Figurines Found in Tombs

Mummy and Sarcophagi
SD Video (2.3 MB)

Golden Funerary Mask, Roman Era

Statues from Hadrian's Villa

Portrait of a Young Man, 4th C. A.D.

Roman Representation of River Nile, 1st-2nd C. A.D.

Nella and God Anubis, 1st-2nd C. A.D.

Bas-Relief from a Tomb, c. 2400 B.C.

Bull Statue

Other ancient civilizations are represented as well, including the Mesopotamia area, Assyria in particular.

Cuneiform Tablet

Bronze Age Tomb Pottery, Syria-Palestine
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Winged Genius and the Tree of Life, 883-859 B.C.

One of the noteworthy Roman sculptures on display is the Laoco÷n Group, representing the Trojan priest Laoco÷n and his sons being dragged away by a serpent sent by Poseidon for trying to warn the Trojans about the Greek ruse of the Trojan Horse.  The statue was unearthed in Rome in 1506, and its authenticity was vouched for by Michelangelo, who had been sent to look at it by Pope Julius II.  It is thought by many to be a Roman copy of a Greek original.  This statue might be considered the beginning of the Vatican Museums, as the Pope had it put on public display shortly after its discovery.  The statue display was joined by other artifacts over the years and centuries, until the whole thing got out of control and turned into the Vatican Museums.

Laoco÷n Group

Apollo Belvedere

Representation of Tigris River

Venus Felix

Perseus, Antonio Canova (c. 1800)

Damoxenus, Antonio Canova (c. 1800)

Main Hall, Chiaramonti Museum

Nella in Chiaramonti Museum
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Shelves of Busts

Connie with Statue

Main Hall

Happy Busts
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Statue of Augustus

Shelf of Small Statues

Chiaramonti Museum and Braccio Nuovo
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Belvedere Torso

Hercules, The Round Room

The Round Room
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Floor Mosaic from Tusculum

The Greek Cross Room
SD Video (15.6 MB)

From the antiquities we took a long walk through some galleries to see Papal apartments which were specially decorated by the painter Raphael and his assistants.  These apartments are considered part of the Vatican Museums and are called the Raphael Rooms.

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